Not that Payne has been twiddling his thumbs since his departure — he’s been advising startups and also making plans of his own, for a startup somehow involving mobile video. With today’s announcement that he’s joining Accel Partners as an entrepreneur in residence, Payne said he’s going to start building the initial team while also advising the other startups in Accel’s portfolio.
Payne and Accel have an existing relationship. The venture firm backed his mobile ad startup MoPub, which was acquired by Twitter for more than $350 million (and has become the foundation for the company’s efforts to build an ad business beyond Twitter itself). Accel also invested in AdMob, the where Payne was a senior product manager before he started a company of his own.
“The goal is just to open up the rolodex and the network to Jim, who’s obviously a world-class entrepreneur,” said Accel partner Rich Wong. He noted that pretty much every company backed by Accel is either “mobile first” or is transitioning to mobile, so Payne can help them figure out the monetization side.
For his part, Payne said he preferred to incubate the as-yet-unnamed startup within Accel because he didn’t want to “work in solitude on some ideas.”
“Ideas don’t really develop that way,” he said. “If we get broad exposure to everything, it’s that much more likely that we’re going to succeed. … As a second-time entrepreneur, I had the privilege of joining an EIR program, which I didn’t have the first time. When Rich and I started talking about ways to work together again, it seemed like the obvious choice.”
And while Payne isn’t ready to reveal much about the startup, he said the mobile video industry “reminds me a lot of where mobile advertising was years ago — there are a lot of opportunities to build infrastructure to solve these problems.”